The Government of Alberta will begin accepting applications for a new affordability payment program starting Wednesday, January 18, the Province announced on Monday.

Seniors 65 years or older and parents with children 18 years or younger can apply for the $600 per-person or per-child affordability payment through the MyAlberta portal or at in-person locations across the province. To be eligible for the payments, doled out in $100 increments over six months, applicants must have household incomes below $180,000.

If applying online, Albertans will need a Verified Account (rebranded from MyAlberta Digital ID) which requires a valid Alberta driver's license or identification card. Although the Province is not accepting applications until January 18, they recommend Albertans confirm they have a Verified Account as soon as possible.

Albertans who are currently receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support, Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD), or Alberta Seniors Benefit with automatically be enrolled and do not need to apply.

Asked at Monday's press conference why all other Albertans had to apply rather than be automatically enrolled like with British Columbia's recent affordability payments, Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate Glubish said the integration with the Canada Revenue Agency that it would require "would push us back months, and that's simply unacceptable."

Applications will be accepted until June 30, with Albertans who apply later in the application window receiving retroactive payments, the Province says.

For those who apply early, the first of the six payments will be delivered as early as Tuesday, January 31. Although the exact timing of the payments may vary from person to person, most Albertans will receive their monthly payments at the end of each month.

Alberta Affordability Action Plan

The affordability payments come as part of the Affordability Action Plan, approved by the Government of Alberta in early December.

In the same piece of legislation, the Province approved indexing the Alberta Child and Family Benefit to inflation beginning on January 1, indexing personal income taxes to inflation retroactive to the 2022 tax year, temporarily suspending the fuel tax, and electricity rebates. The complete bundle of Affordability Action Plan's inflation relief measures totals to approximately $2.8B.

"Our government is committed to keeping Alberta affordable," Minister of Affordability and Utilities Matt Jones said at a press conference on Monday.

"Affordability for Albertans is a top priority for our government, especially for seniors and those living with disabilities," added Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jeremy Nixon in a press release. "With critical steps such as targeted relief payments, we are helping millions of individuals and families meet their basic needs and offset the impact of today's inflation."